With the cold air starting to nip at our nose and the holiday season upon us, what better time to start planning your next winter getaway. But which ski resorts are the best bang for your buck? Holidu, the search engine for vacation rentals, decided to carry out a study to determine which US ski resorts offer the least expensive trips without having to sacrifice on the slopes this season. To accomplish this, we evaluated the prices of more than 500 ski resorts in the United States, and those with over 80 km of slopes were considered. All this in order to provide you with the most budget friendly ski resorts for the upcoming winter season. To compile the ski price index, we calculated the average price per person per day in both high and low season for the ski pass and accommodations. Stay tuned for our snowiest list this season, and get ready to hit the slopes for some epic trips without needing to break the bank.
The final Ski Price Index data highlights that:
- Powder Mountain in Utah took first prize as the overall least expensive slopes for skiing
- Utah, Washington, Oregon, & Colorado all claim 2 resorts within the top 10!
- Sugarloaf is the best bang for your buck with the lowest cost per km of skiable slopes
Top 10 budget friendly ski resorts
1. Powder Mountain, Utah | $74 (Average per person per day; ski pass + accommodation)
Coming in at the top of our list is snowy Powder Mountain in Utah. Located in Eden, Utah this slope comes in with a whopping 135 km, and has the most skiable acreage of any other resort in the United States. Open 9AM to 9PM daily and with 9 operational lifts, you are sure to get your money’s worth on this mountain. On Powder Mountain there are 154 runs, 25% of which are best for beginners, 40% are designed for intermediate, the remaining 35% is reserved for the advanced. With over 500 inches of annual snowfall, Powder Mountain should be at the top of any ski enthusiast list.
Total Ski Area: 135 km ///// Recommended For: All levels ///// Cost per km of slope: $1.83
2. Schweitzer Mountain, ID | $78
Considered some of the best skiing in Idaho, Schweitzer Mountain, located in Sandpoint, comes in second for the most affordable places to ski in the United States. Considered the largest ski area in Idaho, there is truly something for everyone at Schweitzer Mountain. From Nordic Skiing trails to Terrain Parks you are sure to find something that suits you within its 95 km of slopes. With 10 lifts carrying a whopping 15,900 riders every hour, Schweitzer Mountain is sure to impress. Schweitzer Mountain also offers many other fun experiences such as twilight trails and even tubing!
Total Ski Area: 95 km ///// Recommended For: All levels ///// Cost per km of slope: $1.21
3. Mt. Hood Meadows, OR | $103
Next on our list is Mt. Hood Meadows in Oregon coming in with 90 km of ski slopes. Located in Mount Hood, Oregon this resort is only 90 minutes from Portland. With a special permit, this resort operates in the Mt. Hood National Forest and intern has some of the most stunning views! Check out some of their specials or events including Breakfast with Santa on December 22 + 23, or get your ski on this New Year’s Eve and check out their extra special celebratory dinner presented by pFriem. No matter the reason for your trip, make sure to check out Mt. Hood Meadows for all your ski and snowboarding needs this winter season.
Total Ski Area: 90 km ///// Recommended For: All levels ///// Cost per km of slope: $0.87
4. Alta, UT | $109
Celebrating its 84th winter, the next on our list is Alta in Utah. With 85 km of skiable slopes, this resort packs in 105 trails and 12 lifts. Alta offers everything from ski school for the kids to mountain adventures and helicopter skiing for the thrill seekers. Alta also has 19 restaurants, 5 of which are even directly on the mountain for all your apres-ski needs. So what are you waiting for! Plan your next winter wonderland trip to this snowy mountainside.
Total Ski Area: 85 km ///// Recommended For: All levels ///// Cost per km of slope: $1.12
5. Purgatory Resort, CO | $110
Head on down to the charming ski town of Durango, Colorado for our next top pick, Purgatory Resort. With 116 km of ski slopes, this resort is equipped with 119 runs and 6 lifts. Ski through the wide open mountain or check out one of their more challenging tree trails, Purgatory has so much to offer. Nestled along the San Juan Mountains you are sure to get your ski fix in this snowy town!
Total Ski Area: 116 km ///// Recommended For: All levels ///// Cost per km of slope: $0.77
6. Mt. Baker, WA | $112
Mt. Baker is located in the North Cascades of Washington nestled on the border of Canada, this resort gets a whopping average snowfall of 663 inches, making it the perfect place for your next ski adventure. This expansive resort has a variety of 38 widely ranging trails on its 100 km of slopes, making it perfect for any type of skier. If you are looking for a ski season without having to break the bank, look no further than Mt. Baker!
Total Ski Area: 100 km ///// Recommended For: All levels ///// Cost per km of slope: $0.89
7. Sugarloaf, ME | $117
Sugarloaf is located in the heart of Carrabassett Valley, with 162 trails & glades on its 87 km of skiable slopes. Maine's Western Mountains surround this gem that holds the title of the second-tallest mountain in Maine! With 57% of its mountain dedicated to intermediate and beginner skiers, this is a great place to bring family and still be able to enjoy the 43% reserved for advanced and experts! Get ready for a trip of a lifetime that won’t leave holes in your pocket.
Total Ski Area: 87 km ///// Recommended For: All levels ///// Cost per km of slope: $0.74
8. Mission Ridge, WA | $125
Open since 1966, Mission Ridge is located 12 miles from Wenatchee, Washington. It is home to 100 km of skiing slopes on the Cascade Mountains. With only 10% of the trails labeled as easy, this is definitely not a mountain for the faint of heart. The chair lifts are equipped to carry over 4,900 skiers every hour to its 36 designated trails. Grab your skis and polls for a winter packed of skiing on a budget!
Total Ski Area: 100 km ///// Recommended For: Intermediate to expert ///// Cost per km of slope: $0.80
9. Mt. Bachelor, OR | $132
As the 6th largest ski resort in the US, Mt. Bachelors has 4,300 acres of terrain accessible by ski lift and 100 km of skiable slopes. Located in Oregon’s Central Cascades, Mt. Bachelor is actually on top of a shield volcano, making it a super unique skiing destination. This mountain has 101 runs and gets an average of 462 inches of snowfall every year. With over half its trails focused on more intermediate to expert slopes, Mt. Bachelor is definitely the place to go to get your ski on if you are a more seasoned skier.
Total Ski Area: 100 km ///// Recommended For: Intermediate to expert ///// Cost per km of slope: $0.76
10. Winter Park Resort, CO | $135
With over 80 years of history, Winter Park Resort is the state's longest continually operated ski resort. Located in Winter Park Colorado about 66 miles from Denver and is argued the closest major destination resort to Denver’s International Airport. This resort has 23 lifts, 166 trails, and a summit of over 12,000 ft. With 26% reserved for beginner to intermediate and the remaining 72% for advanced to experts, Winter Park skiing is no joke! But with its expansive slopes covering 143 km the whole family is sure to find suitable slopes. Look no further than Winter Park Resort for your next snowy adventure.
Total Ski Area: 143 km ///// Recommended For: Intermediate to expert ///// Cost per km of slope: $1.06